When looking into the underground dubstep scene, at artists who have perhaps slipped under the radar and aren’t gaining the complete credit they deserve; you tend to find they are signed to Bacon Dubs. They’re elite warriors when it comes to sifting out some of the best artists around, pushing that extreme deep and dark sound. With the humorously named PORK series reaching #011, featuring Genetix, Reamz, DubApes, Deafblind, Format, Hiloxam and of course the head honcho, Sparxy, they have further displayed their drive to push mounds of evil sounding tracks into the industry. We’re real admirers at Spectrum of what the label have been doing, and were honoured to be able to link up with two of the top artists on the label, DubApes and Reamz for a dual interview and mix.
DubApes are a pair of artists I’ve been watching for a long time now, even before their first EP release on Bacon Dubs, ‘We Are Monkeys’, which helped create a real name for the artists and would become the catalyst for their rise in the UK scene. Their style is extremely versatile. They are able to bounce from a blissful atmospheric track to a more eyes down affair with the greatest of ease. We were delighted to finally be able to link up with these two, and gain some insight to what life’s like for them currently:
Spectrum: To start off with, for anyone who hasn’t heard your sound, give us an explanation of what you’re about and how you’d describe the music you produce?
DubApes: DubApes stands for two guys in their early twenties, Kaya Brandl & Lukas Frei. It is hard to describe our sound, because we love to try out new directions, but we guess dark, mystical, powerful yet still very ‘danceable’ music.
Spectrum: Something I’ve always wondered; was there any reason behind choosing the name ‘DubApes’?
DubApes: The name originated about three to four years ago, when we both started listening to dubstep music. We were walking through a park in our home city when we both realized, we felt a little like apes with the music we were trying to produce (and further that we both loved apes). The term ‘Dub’ which stands before ‘Apes’ needs no further explanation, we guess.
Spectrum: What artist influenced you the most when you started producing dubstep? Were there any other genres that you draw from when crafting your music?
DubApes: We tried to produce some other styles, mainly drum & bass music, but with dubstep we both found our middle-ground to really start working together.
Producers who lead us in that direction were Mala, Skream, Sukh Knight, Distance, etc.
Lukas: I am listening to a lot of music apart from dubstep. My favourite producers/musicians are Bonobo, DjRum, Beirut and Arcade Fire.
Kaya: I also do listen to a lot of different music genres. Of course we both listen to Hip-Hop. Further I’ve enjoyed Goa-Music (especially the darker and faster stuff in this genre, for example Darkpsy and Hi-Tek music) in the last year and over the last few months I started listening to stuff like Nirvana again, so acoustic/rock music.
Spectrum: As you guys are based and originated from Austria, what’s the scene like over where you are? The scene seems to be expanding in most countries around the world, so are there any particular underground artists from Austria, who may have slipped under the radar?
DubApes: Hmmm… Not that great. There are only a few parties and producers we two can identify with but make sure you check out Tom Tesla, The Paranox and Subdued.
Spectrum: How did you find attempting to break into the UK scene? Were there any specific people who helped spread your sound and get you involved and heard about?
DubApes: We started to send music to BunZero after we spent some time in the studio. When we had like 10 tracks ready we just sent it out to a few labels, one day after Sparxy messaged us that he wants to release an EP. So Sparxy, BunZero and the whole Bacon Dubs crew helped us out a lot at the start.
Spectrum: I’m so gutted I didn’t manage to reach the Bacon Dubs night in May, was a real shame not to see you guys playing out. Are there any plans in place for another trip to the UK at some point soon?
DubApes: Unfortunately nothing planned at the moment but we will do our best to be back really soon.
Spectrum: Where do you tend to usually start a track, in relation to bass, percussion, high’s, or simply an idea or sound that stems into something gradually? Do you thoroughly think out your production or does it slowly flow and assemble itself?
DubApes: Depends, sometimes it starts with an idea, a drum loop or a sample. There is a point where you just get into the right direction with your track and know what to do with it.
Spectrum: Collaborations have not been a specific area which you guys have been involved in on a great scale, however, I’d really love to see you two pair up with another artist. Would there be anyone in particular who grabs your attention and you’d be interested in blending styles?
DubApes: Well quite a few artists to be honest: Mala, Versa, Vivek, Distance, DjRum…
Spectrum: Since I first heard ‘Vicious Eyestrain’, played on J:Kenzo’s Rinse FM show, I instantly jumped out of my seat and my legs refused to let me stand still. How did you go about creating this track, and will it be forever a dubplate, or will it be released out into the world at some point?
DubApes: Vicious Eyestrain was one of the first tracks we made, but we didn´t finish it back then. We started with the drums and the sub, from there the whole track just started to develop.
After one year we finally managed to finish it and sent it to J:Kenzo. We hope we will release the track very soon, but there is nothing planned with it at the moment.
Spectrum: Finally, have you two got in lined up for the future? With the two EP’s already out, yet you’re still churning out various tracks of such a high degree, there must be something over the horizon.
DubApes: You can definitely expect a new EP on Bacon Dubs. Apart from that we got a release really soon on Odea Records and Rhino Dubs.
Thanks for the interest in our music. We feel Spectrum is a very good platform for this music and we feel honoured to be part of it.
Reamz has been hiding in the shadows for the last year or so, with a few releases and solid tunes under his name; including a remix by Compa which found its way onto white label vinyl. He has a style that stands out from a lot of dubstep recently; he’s really one to watch. We caught up with him to discuss the past present and future:
Spectrum: Firstly, thanks for being a part of our Bacon Dubs feature! We felt such a sick label needed some of the spotlight they’ve rightly earned. Off the bat, who or what got you into dubstep originally?
Reamz: That’s no problem at all. Thanks for having me! I started listening to dubstep a few years back when my mate showed me a couple of songs. I was really into heavy rock and metal stuff back then so the darker, more aggressive sounding dubstep really interested me. At the time I had just started trying to record demo’s for the band I was in so I decided to give production a go. My friend who had first introduced me was already a pretty sick producer under the name Dreadnort. He had already had a bit of success at the time, had a few regular tunes on Distances new talent section. He really helped me out with the production side to start with. The DJing was just a natural progression from there I suppose.
Spectrum: When first producing, what were your main influences regarding finding your own sound? Was it mainly experimentation, or did something just get you one day?
Reamz: I originally started by listening to tracks and trying to recreate the sound and vibe they had. I can specifically remember hearing Arcane – Kryptic Minds for the first time then instantly making a string of 4/4 tunes haha. I think I’m still trying to find “my sound” so to speak. I obviously have a way of producing my tracks which gives them a certain sound but I’m always learning new techniques and tricks.
Spectrum: As it progressed, what was it like trying to find a foothold in such a growing industry, and how did you get involved with Bacon Dubs?
Reamz: It was a lot easier than I thought it would be to get my name out there. The dubstep community is very tightly knit, but everyone within it is willing to help each other out. When I started sending out tunes, people just seemed to always have the time of day to listen and give me feedback. I have grown some really strong friendships with people within the industry because of this. Sparxy is a good example. I submitted some tunes to Bacon Dubs after seeing a post on dubstep forum. He got back to me, saying he wanted to sign some tunes. Then it just went from there.
Spectrum: Purely for curiosities sake, who are your own personal favourite artists, from both in and outside of dubstep?
Reamz: It’s so hard to sum up my favourite artists as there is so much sick talent around at the moment. I have to give a shout to Slaven. That boy is killing it right now. Every single tune he sends is just insane. My music taste is fairly eclectic so picking an artist outside of dubstep is difficult. I have been listening to a lot of August Burns Red recently. Their new album is just fucking awesome.
Spectrum: You’ve played at multiple venues across the UK now, so it has to be asked which has been the best, and why?
Reamz: I think the best gig I have played in the UK would probably be when I performed at the Dusk FM takeover at Origins in Birmingham. The system was insane, the room was rammed and everybody was having a sick night! So far though nothing comes close to playing in Ukraine. That was just a surreal experience start to finish. Europeans just know how to do it like no other.
Spectrum: Where do you see dubstep heading from where it is now? And do you think it has a place in modern culture, or do you think it will recede further underground, as it was in the beginning?
Reamz: I think dubstep is heading in a really positive direction currently. The decline from the spotlight will allow the scene to return to it’s roots. I believe people will be able to make the music they want to make without having to conform to what people think they should be making. The nights I have been to recently have had such a strong turn out and people have been there for the right reasons. Personally, I’m really excited about the future of this scene!
Spectrum: What do you have coming from yourself in the future, and where are you personally going, or want to go?
Reamz: I have been really concentrating on getting my music to a higher standard recently. I’m currently in the final stages of sorting my next EP on Bacon Dubs which will feature 3 or 4 tunes from myself and possibly some cheeky remixes. I also have one or two singles planned soon but I can’t really say much about them yet. In terms of future plans I am really going to start pushing the DJing side a bit more. The calendar is slowly starting to fill up with festival slots and more Europe shows. Recently I have also been messing with lots of different genres of music. I have been getting a lot of interest in the Hip Hop I have been working on. There have been talks about putting out some of that in the near future which I am really excited about!
We’d like to thank both of the DubApes boys and of course Reamz for getting involved with the blog, and supplying us and you with two amazing mixes.
DUBAPES MIX –
REAMZ MIX –
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DubApes?fref=ts
Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/dubapes
Purchase music – http://www.junodownload.com/artists/Dubapes/releases/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/reamz
Purchase music – http://www.junodownload.com/artists/Reamz/releases/
Compiled by Drew Jones & Michael Thomas